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Schizophyllum commune

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Schizophyllum commune
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Schizophyllaceae
Genus: Schizophyllum
S. commune
Binomial name
Schizophyllum commune
Fr. (1815)
  • Agaricus alneus L. (1755)
  • Agaricus alneus Reichard (1780)
  • Agaricus multifidus Batsch (1786)
  • Apus alneus (L.) Gray (1821)
  • Merulius alneus (L.) J.F.Gmel. (1792)
  • Merulius alneus (Reichard) Schumach. (1803)
  • Merulius communis (Fr.) Spirin & Zmitr. (2004)
  • Schizophyllum alneum J.Schröt. (1889)
  • Schizophyllum alneum (Reichard) Kuntze (1898)
  • Schizophyllum commune var. multifidum (Batsch) Cooke (1892)
  • Schizophyllum multifidum (Batsch) Fr. (1875)

Schizophyllum commune is a species of fungus in the genus Schizophyllum. The mushroom resembles undulating waves of tightly packed corals or loose Chinese fan. "Gillies" or "split gills" vary from creamy yellow to pale white in colour. The cap is small, 1–4 centimetres (381+58 in) wide with a dense yet spongey body texture. It is known as the split-gill mushroom because of the unique longitudinally divided nature of the "gills" on the underside of the cap. This mushroom is found throughout the world.[1]

It is found in the wild on decaying trees after rainy seasons followed by dry spells where the mushrooms are naturally collected.


Schizophyllum commune is usually described as a morphological species of global distribution, but some research has suggested that it may be a species complex encompassing several cryptic species of more narrow distribution, as typical of many mushroom-forming Basidiomycota.[2]

The caps are 1–4 centimetres (381+58 in) wide with white or grayish hairs. They grow in shelf-like arrangements, without stalks.[3] The gills, which produce basidiospores on their surface, split when the mushroom dries out, earning this mushroom the common name split gill. It is common in rotting wood.[4] The mushrooms can remain dry for decades and then revived with moisture.[3]

It has a tetrapolar mating system with each cell containing two genetic loci (called A and B) that govern different aspects the mating process, leading to 4 possible phenotypes after cell fusion. Each locus codes for a mating type (a or b) and each type is multi-allelic: the A locus has 9 alleles for the a type and an estimated 32 for its b type, and the B locus has 9 alleles each for both its a and b types. When combined this gives an estimated 23,328 potential mating type specificities.[5] While all mating types can initially fuse with any other mating type, a fertile fruitbody and subsequent spores will result only if both the A and B loci of the merging cells are compatible. If neither the A nor B are compatible the result is normal monokarytic mycelium, and if only one of A or B are compatible, the result is either two mycelia growing in opposite directions (only A compatible) or a "flat" phenotype with no mycelia (only B compatible).[6]

Hydrophobin was first isolated from Schizophyllum commune.[7]


The genome of Schizophyllum commune was sequenced in 2010.[8]


The species was regarded as nonpoisonous by Orson K. Miller Jr. and Hope H. Miller, who considered it to be inedible due to its smallness and toughness.[9] Because the mushrooms absorb moisture, they can expand during digestion. However, some sources indicate that it contains antitumor and antiviral components.[3]

As of 2006, it was widely consumed in Mexico and elsewhere in the tropics. The preference for tough, rubbery mushrooms in the tropics was explained as a consequence of the fact that tender, fleshy mushrooms quickly rot in the hot humid conditions there, making their marketing problematic.[10]

In Northeast India, in the state Manipur, it is known as kanglayen and one of the favourite ingredients for Manipuri-style pancakes called paaknam. In Mizoram, the local name is pasi (pa means mushroom, si means tiny) and it is one of the highest rated edible mushrooms among the Mizo community. [citation needed]

As a pathogen[edit]

Schizophyllum commune
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Gills on hymenium
No distinct cap
Hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable
Lacks a stipe or is bare
Spore print is white
Ecology is saprotrophic or parasitic
Edibility is unknown

There is evidence that it may be a common cause of fungal infections and related diseases, most commonly that of the lungs.[11] They have also been reported to cause sinusitis and allergic reactions.[3]


Schizophyllum is derived from [the Greek] Schíza meaning split because of the appearance of radial, centrally split, gill like folds; commune means common or shared ownership or ubiquitous.[12]



  1. ^ Kuo, M. (2003). "Schizophyllum commune". Mushroom Expert. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  2. ^ Taylor, John; Turner, Elizabeth; Townsend, Jeffrey; Dettman, Jeremy; Jacobson, David (2006). "Eukaryotic microbes, species recognition and the geographic limits of species: examples from the kingdom Fungi". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 361 (1475): 1947–1963. doi:10.1098/rstb.2006.1923. PMC 1764934. PMID 17062413.
  3. ^ a b c d Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
  4. ^ Guarro, J; Genéj; Stchigel, Am (Jul 1999), "Developments in Fungal Taxonomy", Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 12 (3): 454–500, doi:10.1128/CMR.12.3.454, ISSN 0893-8512, PMC 100249, PMID 10398676
  5. ^ Kothe, Erika (1996). "Tetrapolar fungal mating types: Sexes by the thousands". FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 18 (1): 65–87. doi:10.1016/0168-6445(96)00003-4. PMID 8672296.
  6. ^ Kothe, Erika (1999). "Mating types and pheromone recognition in the homobasidiomycete Schizophyllum commune". Fungal Genetics and Biology. 27 (2–3): 146–152. doi:10.1006/fgbi.1999.1129. PMID 10441440.
  7. ^ Wessels, Jgh.; De Vries, Omh.; Asgeirsdottir, S. A.; Schuren, Fhj. (1991-08-01). "Hydrophobin Genes Involved in Formation of Aerial Hyphae and Fruit Bodies in Schizophyllum". The Plant Cell. 3 (8): 793–799. doi:10.1105/tpc.3.8.793. ISSN 1040-4651. PMC 160046. PMID 12324614.
  8. ^ Robin A Ohm; De Jong, JF; Lugones, LG; Aerts, A; Kothe, E; Stajich, JE; De Vries, RP; Record, E; et al. (Jul 2010), "Genome sequence of the model mushroom Schizophyllum commune", Nature Biotechnology, 28 (9): 957–63, doi:10.1038/nbt.1643, PMID 20622885
  9. ^ Miller Jr., Orson K.; Miller, Hope H. (2006). North American Mushrooms: A Field Guide to Edible and Inedible Fungi. Guilford, CN: FalconGuide. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7627-3109-1.
  10. ^ Ruán-Soto, F.; Garibay-Orijel, R.; Cifuentes, J. (2006). "Process and dynamics of traditional selling of wild edible mushrooms in tropical Mexico". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2 (1): 3. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-2-3. PMC 1360659. PMID 16393345.
  11. ^ Chowdhary, A; Kathuria, S; Agarwal, K; Meis, JF (Nov 2014). "Recognizing filamentous basidiomycetes as agents of human disease: A review". Med Mycol. 52 (8): 782–97. doi:10.1093/mmy/myu047. PMID 25202126.
  12. ^ Mahajan, Monika (March 2022). "Etymologia: Schizophyllum commune". Emerg. Infect. Dis. 28 (3): 725. doi:10.3201/eid2803.211051. PMC 8888233. S2CID 247097577. Citing public domain text from the CDC.

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